Strike a pose! What defines fashion photography?
Fashion photography has developed to become an indisputable form of artistic photography, and should, under no circumstances, be equated to what is customarily known as commercial photography. Fulfilling this expectation requires a good idea, followed by a whole series of necessary decisions: do you work alone with the model or do you need assistants? Should you stay in the studio or go out on the streets? Do you use natural or artificial light, or both?
Try out a number of locations; don’t underestimate the importance of the work of make-up artists; use original props; and look for inspiration in stories, films and the established masters of fashion photography.
The streets of Paris are among the most popular settings for a fashion photo shoot. This picture could also have been taken at a Parisian street café, however – like the other pictures in the series – it was taken at the Leitz Park, a location that has become a favourite for photographers because of the diversity of its architecture. The picture’s impact is caused by the tension that developed between the haunting look in the model’s eyes, the reflection of the window pane, and the slanted framing.More Details
This is a good example of how even fashion photography can get by without artificial lighting, when the available light is used in an optimal manner. The photographer simply used a Leica SL with a portrait lens (APO-Summicron-SL 75 f/2 ASPH.). The picture was taken exclusively in natural lighting with a light sensitivity setting of ISO 400 and 1/500 seconds at open aperture. For such compositions it is recommended to use the precise spot metering mode.
A large part of fashion photography deals with beauty portraiture. In addition to the model’s flawless appearance, achieved through the work of the stylist and later perfected during post-processing, the photographer’s creativity is also in demand. Props, such as the lily in this case, can add elegance to a portrait. Other visual effects and the colour scheme can further underline the photographer’s individual style.More Details
For this picture, the photographer used a Leica CL with macro lens and portrait focal length (APO-Macro-Elmarit-TL 60 f/2.8 ASPH., equivalent to 90mm in 35mm format). The bright, half circle in the bottom part of the image lends it a mysterious touch. The photographer used a little trick to produce it: a smartphone display was used as a reflective source in front of the lens with open aperture.
A certain type of artistic photography can also be considered fashion photography. In this genre, photographers like to include abstract and impressionist elements. The picture here is an example of a composition where tension is created by the application of the lighting, the styling (make-up) and the picture processing that followed. The reflections and mirror effects draw the viewer into a fairy-tale world, enhanced by strokes of light.More Details
For this picture, the photographer used a Leica SL with classic portrait lens and 75mm focal length (APO-Summicron-SL 75 f/2 ASPH.). An aperture setting of f/10 ensured the necessary depth of field. The photographer used three LED flashes while playing around with the mirror. Like all the other photos in this series, it was shot by hand; in other words, without a tripod. This allowed for more flexibility while working.
The symbiosis of street photography and fashion could be referred to as anti-glamour. It’s a stylistic approach that has elbowed its way into mainstream fashion photography since the nineties. Cheeky, provocative and refreshing – an impression also created by this photo. It’s the perfect choice for this sporty clothing. The luminescent colours stand out very nicely against the grey, concrete architecture at the Leitz Park. The slanted framing adds the final touch and bring the necessary dynamic into the picture.More Details
The photo was taken with a Leica SL with a Summilux-M 35 f/1.4 ASPH. wide angle lens. The photographer opted for a low angle perspective, so as to enlarge the models, as well as the architecture behind them, as much as possible. To avoid any back light issues, he used constant, LED lighting as a frontal light source. To achieve a balanced relationship between the fore and background, he set the aperture at f/4.8.
During a fashion shoot, props can be an important and popular element for enhancing a picture. Combined with specific applications of light, they can produce or strengthen interesting visual effects. The umbrella used here corresponds very nicely with the creases in the garment, creating a fascinating image plane in front of the dark background that stands in contrast to the quiet expression on the model’s face.More Details
To achieve this effect, the photographer used a number of light sources. In addition to the natural light there was an overhead light (an LED flash). So as to avoid any possible shadows on the face resulting from the use of the overhead light, all the photographer had to do was ask the model to lift his head slightly. The third, passive light source (another LED flash) was used to lighten up the wall to the left of the model, so as to add an interesting structure to what would have otherwise only been a dark background.
The reduction of the image content, lit up by a pleasant, soft daylight, is what makes this very lovely composition stand out. In particular, it is the contrast between the fair hair and the dark background that lends it an elegant touch. The discreet colours of the clothing and the right pose in relationship to the model’s eyes – in this case avoiding looking directly into the camera – ensure that the picture acquires the feeling of a classic fashion photo.More Details
The photo was taken with a Leica SL with a fast, normal focal length lens (Summilux-M 50 f/1.4 ASPH.). The photographer only used the natural surrounding light, which was strengthened by a window on the opposite side. Under these conditions, he chose a very low light sensitivity of ISO 50, an open aperture and a shutter speed of 1/125 seconds to ensure no shakiness.
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The best fashion photos in the LFI.Gallery
Get plenty of inspiration from pictures you can find at the LFI.Gallery; submit your best fashion photos and include the keyword „fashion“ in your tags.
You can learn more about fashion photography at our Akademie photo workshops
With a broad selection of photo workshops, the Leica Akademie offers you practical and intensive experience in every area of photographic creativity.
Enrich your creative photography and let yourself be guided towards the best possible image results.
Leica products for the best fashion photos
The Leica S system is a medium format system that meets the highest demands for professional fashion photography, whether working on location or in the studio. The system stands out because of its superior picture quality, technical diversity and absolute robustness.
The handy Leica CL also offers numerous possibilities for producing creative fashion photos. Coupled with the APO-Macro-Elmarit-TL 60 f/2.8 ASPH. you have a perfect combination for producing impressive beauty portraits.More Details
And with the M-adapter-L (M lenses on an L-mount), you have countless variations with which you can create your own particular visual style.